Last year Lost Ark released Snow, which was an impressive, experimental genre-bending EP that had foundations in electronic music. In roughly a year’s time Lost Ark is back with Build, which is a six-song EP that feels like a natural extension of Snow. The songs on Build aren't your typical electronic compositions as they often innovate and break the mold of what you would expect. Musically, there is a lot to latch on to and have fun with. There are twists and turns within the songs that make it an exciting ride in which you never know what to expect.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the song is how the vocals are implemented. Lost Ark is a project that utilizes a female and male vocal and more than not they feel as if they occupy a different space than the music. It’s as if the vocals have depersonalization disorder and aren't always attached to the other sounds. I personally enjoyed how the vocal work played out (others may not) as it is quite original and when it does attach to its body it’s quite enjoyable. On top of that the vocals are sometimes cut and manipulated to add even more variation to the songs.
The EP starts out with arguably the best song Lost Ark has made entitled “Build.” It starts with a thumping house beat that immediately gets bombarded by synths, an opera like vocal sample and more synths. The song breaks down to a lone piano and intersecting male vocal harmonies before finding a steady rhythm with the female lead. It isn’t until the end of the song that it takes us to very unexpected places. The electronics drop out to be replaced by a harp and vocals. The female lead sounds as if she is reciting a play. Out of nowhere dissonant sounds start to build and begin inducing vertigo to the listener.
“Stranger At Your Door” starts off sounding like warmer, cuddlier version of a Nine Inch Nails song you may have heard back in the 90’s. Ethereal synths create a warm atmosphere that feels inviting yet alien at the same time. “Waiting Rooms” shreds up tempos and rhythms making it almost impossible to dance to. Maybe you could pull off an interpretative, artsy type dance. The song is certainly experimental and explores rough terrain that some people may not want to go to.
The EP ends with “Destroy!” which contains a thumping kick drum, opera like vocals (at least I think they were vocals) and seemingly endless amount of changes. I was actually reminded of some of Andy Stott’s work when listening to this track.
Build is an EP that is a success because it’s something you can enjoy immediately or take your time with. There are so many sounds, changes and nuances to explore that you will discover something new every time you listen to it.
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